The information on the Notice of Appraised Value is often frustrating or shocking for Texas homeowners.
Filing an appeal can be an effective way to lower your property taxes. In this article, we’ll explain the property tax appeal process and provide tips for what to write on your property tax protest form.
Understanding the Property Tax Appeal Process
In Texas, the deadline for filing a property tax protest is May 15th or 30 days after the Notice of Appraised Value is mailed, whichever is later. If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait until the following year to file a protest.
This form must be mailed in or e-filed if your district has an option to e-file. Your appeal won’t be considered if it’s sent via fax or email.
When you file a property tax protest, you’ll have to present evidence to support your claim that the appraised value is too high. The evidence can include recent sales of similar properties, the condition of the property, and any repairs or upgrades you’ve made.
After you’ve filed your property tax appeal, the appraisal district will review the evidence and make a decision. If it is denied, you have the option to attend a hearing with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). If you’re still not satisfied with the outcome, you can appeal to district court.
Tips for Writing an Effective Property Tax Protest
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the property tax appeal process, let’s talk about how to write an effective property tax protest.
Note that in most states, you will need to complete a form where there will be a field to provide information and evidence. More than likely, you will not submit an actual letter. Visit your county or appraisal district’s website for more information on what you need to do.
If you live in Texas, you’ll complete a Notice of Protest form to file an appeal with your appraisal district. Information you need to provide on the form includes:
- Name and Address: Make sure to include your full name and current address.
- Property Information: Identify the property that you’re protesting by providing the property address or the account number.
- Reasoning for Your Protest: Select your reason(s) for protest and provide a brief explanation of the evidence you’ll be presenting to support your case.
- Your Opinion of the Proposed Value: This is optional on the Notice of Protest, but if you want, you can provide the value that you believe the property should be appraised at.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you complete a Notice of Protest form or write an appeal letter.
Choose Your Reason for Protest
The Notice of Protest form has a section for you to select the reason(s) you are protesting. If you need to write a letter, you should note the reason for your dispute on the form.
The reasons for protest that you select can influence what evidence you are permitted to present at your hearing. Make sure to select all of the reasons that apply when you complete this form.
The reason that will allow you to submit the most evidence is “Incorrect appraised (market) value and/or value is unequal compared with other properties.”
Organize Your Evidence
Make sure to gather all of the evidence that supports your claim that the appraised value is too high, such as:
- Recent sales of similar properties
- Condition of your property, such as structural defects
- Discrepancies or inaccuracies on your property tax assessment
On the Notice of Protest form, you can fill in this information where you give your opinion of the proposed value on the form. Keep in mind that you’ll have to provide evidence at your informal gathering.
If your county or appraisal district does not have a form, you’ll still need to organize your evidence in a clear and concise manner. Include the information suggested above to help structure your letter.
Using Your Evidence at the Informal Hearing
Be prepared to address common issues that arise in property tax protests. For example, the appraisal district may argue that the recent sales you’ve provided are not comparable to your property. In that case, you should explain why you believe they are comparable.
Submitting the Notice of Protest is just the first step in appealing your appraised value. You’ll still need to collect evidence and present your case at an informal hearing. For many people, this can be time consuming or overwhelming.
A property tax protest company can manage the appeal process on your behalf, saving you time and money.
If you’d like a company to handle your appeal, North Texas Property Tax Services can help. We serve homeowners in Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant counties. To sign up with our firm, register your property.